POLICE VOW TO PUT TRANSPORT CENTER UNDER MANNERS

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STUDENTS who flock the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre, particularly on Friday evenings and behave disgracefully, had better watch out.

Jolted by revelations that students have turned the bus park into a haven for sex, fights, robbery and other untoward conduct, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington has said that the police will tackle the issue head on and record images of students behaving badly and make them public.

The students’ misbehaviour stunned the nation after an expose in last Sunday’s Observer.

“We intend to photograph and video tape the acts of misconduct on the part of students and we are going to send it to their schools, we are going to send it to the parent teachers associations, we are going to send it to the Child Development Agency and we are going to send some of it to CISOCA (the Centre for Investigation into Sexual Offences and Child Abuse) in the event that there is anything of evidential value which suggests sexual misconduct or abuse of young children by some of the adult suitors,” he said.

Speaking with the Sunday Observer at bis offices last week, Ellington listed a raft of measures to be taken by the police to curtail the brazen activity of the unruly teenage students who flock the bus terminus in droves and openly defy authority.

He said that the police had met with the representatives of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), the Port Authority of Jamaica and Ports Management Services to work out a method to curtail the situation.

“We met with them and went through the article. We got everybody to confirm or deny the facts that were presented in the article. They mainly agreed that is was happening, so what we agreed to is a number of activities,” Ellington told the Sunday Observer.

He said that the police had encouraged the JUTC to use the public address system in the park to communicate with students about the need for them to board buses and get home early for their own safety.

He said that the police had also recommended the appointment of transport marshals, either as paid employees, or volunteers.

“It is something that we think retired teachers and police officers could do as a form of voluntary service to use gentle persuasion to get the children to board the buses and go home. We have offered to assign police personnel to work alongside the marshals,” he said.

The police also plan to appoint some of the JUTC staff as district constables with limited powers to assist in enforcing compliance with the regulations.

“We are recommending the wearing of high visibility vests by the marshals and the policemen who work in there. We are going to acquire some of these for them so that greater visibility can perhaps provide some amount of deterrence to offending individuals but at the same time it can clearly serve as the sources of authority that people can go to them for guidance or to report things to them,” he said.

The police are also going to partner with school-based groups to develop a programme to educate the students and users of the transport system.

“We have established a education sub-committee consisting of representatives from the transport centre management, the JUTC, Port Management Agency, the St Andrew Central police, The Community Safety and Security Branch and the Island Special Constabulary Force and they will meet on a weekly basis starting now, until we are able to implement some of these measures and have some effect.” he said.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Watch-out-students-_15284371#ixzz2iGaN2EW6

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